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Idaho Fire Incident Map

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

08/30/2016 Idaho DEQ Smoke Forecast

Updated 8am MDT Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Valid through Noon MDT Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Smoke Outlook

Air quality is forecast to continue to remain in the Good to Moderate air quality category across the state today.  Current elevated DEQ monitors include St. Maries and Boise, which are reading in the Moderate Category.  Salmon is reporting in the Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups Category.  Continue to expect higher readings and impacts in the morning before clearing after 1pm.
An upper level low pressure system in the Gulf of Alaska will continue to provide a southwest steering flow for all of Idaho today. This system will remain entrenched for some time -at least through Wednesday- as it sends weak lobes of energy over Idaho through the week. We should see increased cloud cover and slightly cooler temperatures which should help suppress some fire activity.  For today, surface wind speeds will range from 5-15 mph with higher speeds across the Central Idaho Mountains.  Surface wind direction will be from the south-southeast across the Lower and Middle Snake with southwest winds across the Upper Snake.  Expect northwest to southwest winds across northern Idaho.  Mixing heights will range from 2,000-13,000 feet AGL.  Transport wind speed will be between 5-15 mph and be from the southeast-east to southwest.  Ventilation is forecast to be POOR in the morning and GOOD in the afternoon with locally MARGINAL ventilation across much of southwest Idaho.  Expect POOR to locally MARGINAL ventilation across all of northern Idaho outside Shoshone and Benewah Counties. Inversions are expected to break between 10am-1pm.

The Pioneer fire will continue to produce smoke as it grows.  Expect to see impacts across the Upper Snake this morning before clearing to the northeast once the inversion lifts.  This morning, expect to see smoke north of a line running from Terreton to Ashton.  Dispersion this afternoon looks to be good and will promote clearing after the inversion lifts around 12noon-1pm today over southern Idaho.  Smoke will push nearly due north into the west-central Mountains today.  The southerly flow pattern will help move smoke out of the Snake River Plain today but looks to shift to the southwest and continue to move smoke from the Pioneer Fire into the Salmon area via Stanley and Challis.  Expect lofted smoke over the Nez Perce Tribal lands, the Weippe and Camas Prairies.  Smoke looks to push as far north as the southern end of Lake Pend Oreille late this evening.  Elsewhere tonight, expect smoke to drain into the Ketchum area and into the Snake River Plain. Tomorrow, continued south-southwest winds will keep smoke out of the Snake River Plain and the strong southerly component looks to move smoke just north of Salmon, providing some reprieve.

DEQ Air Quality Forecast and Cautions:                 
  • The Idaho Falls Regional Office has extended a Stage 1 Air Quality Forecast and Caution for Custer County. Valid through Tuesday, August 30th at 4:00 p.m.
  • The Idaho Falls Regional Office has lifted a Stage 1 Air Quality Forecast and Caution for Teton County.
·         The Boise Regional Office has extended a Stage 1 Air Quality Forecast and Caution for Boise County. Valid through Tuesday, August 30th at 3:00 p.m.
·         The Twin Falls Regional Office has issued a Stage 1 Air Quality Forecast and Caution for Blaine County. Valid through Tuesday, August 30th at 1:00 p.m.

View real time smoke monitoring at:

View DEQ near-real time monitoring at:

The USFS installed monitors near Stanley, Idaho, Garden Valley, Idaho and Lowman, Idaho.  Idaho DEQ has installed temporary monitors in Fairfield and Boise (Garden City), Idaho. The information can be found at

·         Stanley, ID monitor is Stanley-Idaho 75

·         Lowman, ID monitor is Lowman-Jolene Drive

·         Garden Valley, ID monitor is Garden Valley-Babcock Lane

·         Fairfield, ID monitor is Fairfield-Soldier Road

·         Boise, ID monitor is Garden City-Alworth Street

Smoke forecasts are dependent on predicted fire growth and weather.  If conditions change unexpectedly, impacts could occur.  When visibility starts to go below 5 miles, sensitive groups should minimize outdoor activities.  Everyone else should minimize prolonged or physical activity outdoors.  Visit the Idaho Smoke Blog for more information at

Your eyes are your best tools to determine if it’s safe to be outside.  Even if you smell smoke, the air quality may still be good. 

AQI Category
Visibility (miles)
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups
1½  -2¾
Very Unhealthy
Less than 1

How to estimate air quality based on visibility for areas without an air quality monitor or airport visibility estimate:

a. Face away from the sun.
b. Determine the limit of your visible range by looking for targets at known distances (miles).
c. Visible range is when an object you can easily see in the distance disappears.
d. Use the visibility values above to determine the local wildfire smoke category.